In his book “Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill wrote about the importance of getting together in a group of like minded people on a regular basis to share ideas and to encourage personal growth. The idea of putting together a Mastermind Group is not unique to Napoleon Hill and many successful people in the world will tell stories of the group that supported them towards their success.
I have been involved in two mastermind groups over the last ten years, one local to my home when I was living in Durban and one international which met regularly on Skype. I have found both groups to be hugely valuable to my business and my personal growth and I heartily recommend you should find yourself a similar group or set up a new one if no such group exists in your area. I have recently moved to Cape Town and I am in the process of setting up a new Mastermind Group here so I thought it may be a good idea to outline the process to get my mind in gear and to give you an idea how Mastermind Groups can be set up.
There are a few key principles involved:
• Identify like minded business people who you believe will compliment the group. I prefer to get people in the same industry as me so that they can contribute from a place of understanding. Personalities are also important here. One difficult person can easily spoil and otherwise perfect group.
• If you are developing a business mastermind group, decide upon a financial measurement for entry. Your monthly earnings are probably the average of the people you associate with. If you surround yourself with wannabes you are not likely to benefit from the experience. If you surround yourself with people who earn considerably more than you do you may feel out of your depth.
• Define the objective of the group. You may want a group whose purpose is to raise funds for a charity, for me the purpose will be to help grow our businesses.
• Have a clear written idea of how the meetings will be constructed. You cannot meet without a specific set of guidelines and expect the meeting will progress on its own. Your guidelines may include: how long will the meeting last, time limit for each speaker, where the meetings are held. how often you will have meetings, who will decide the theme for each meeting, etc
• Create and agree an agenda for the meetings.
• Decide upon an organiser for the meetings. In my experience Mastermind Groups do not need a leader but they do need someone who takes on the role of organising the meetings and making sure people attend. You will probably also need a time keeper to keep the meetings on track together with a set of rules and perhaps some accountability for breaking those rules. One of the members of my Durban Mastermind group wanted to eat healthier. He promised a can of beer to each of the group for each time he broke his rules during the month. At the next meeting he arrived with a case of beer for each of us.
• Don’t expect too much from your first meeting. It will take time for the personalities to settle.
• Allow each member to have time to share their challenges and ask for help on specific issues before focusing on the main theme for the meeting.
• Make sure each member takes their own notes and commits to a set of actions before the next meeting. I am not a great fan of taking minutes at meetings, rather I expect people to make their own notes. It is important, however, to make sure people are accountable.
• Have fun. People will be more likely to attend and participate if they enjoy the meetings
“You can get everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar.
If your Mastermind group is a success it will depend on how much you are prepared to give, to make sure others in the group are succeeding.